Many people make the assumption that people with lots of kids have a hard time really KNOWING each of their children. I know they make this assumption because I made the assumption myself before I experienced the truth.
I also assumed that having teenagers was going to be a nightmare, wearing a mask everywhere was only for the movies, and eventually the world would decide to cancel daylight savings time. All of these assumptions were wrong.
Assuming that having many children causes some of them to get lost in the crowd is painting with a very broad brush. Just like thinking that moving your children overseas causes them to miss out on all of the fun things in life. Both assumptions I have held, both proven completely wrong.
Living a life outside of the assumptions of human understanding is what we are called to as followers of Jesus.
His ways are not our ways, nor is our understanding His.
This train of thought came to me this morning as today we are celebrating my son Josiah's 11th birthday. Happy Birthday, JoJo!
We had lived in Serbia for a little over 18 months when we found out baby number 4 was on the way. We were thrilled! And so was our Serbian family.
I think that our families back home were a little nervous about me having a baby overseas. Assumptions during times of unknown can always be a little scary. Then on October 8, 2009, Josiah David Hepner was born in a hospital in Skopje, Macedonia. Pretty cool, huh?
From day one, Josiah has been a blessing. He is a peaceful little man with an old soul, smart as a whip, and a tiny bit bossy (with his siblings). The more that I "mother" the more readily I aim to take these strongwilled tendencies and speak life into them, assuming that God will cultivate them for His glory.
I'm trying my best to challenge my correction from, "don't be so bossy" to "hey, let's try to empower your sister clean up her mess". My assumption remains that Jo will be a great leader someday. It's in his veins.
The way his mind works and his perception of the world is advanced for his little 11 years. His big brother has penned Josiah as being the smartest of the family, which may be the case. Learning comes easy for him...and he loves to learn.
This year I have the privilege of being his teacher. Up until this year, Josiah has attended Serbian school. Due to COVID and the changes that have hit the schools here in Serbia, we decided this was the year to transition him to homeschool. Thankfully, he has a solid grasp of the Serbian language, which, I assume, will serve him well in his teen years when socializing becomes more of a priority.
The Lord has blessed me with this time to teach him and get to know him better, see how his mind works, and speak into his heart.
I am so thankful that God knows just what each of our children need during every season of life.
I am so thankful that I don't have to assume this but can KNOW that I know that I know.
God is in control of the size of our families, the plans for our children, and the path of their futures.
While our human minds make assumptions, the God of the universe KNOWS.
And let's be honest, assumptions, doubts, and misgivings are all of the flesh. They are all certainly innate but push into borders of sin and judgment.
There is really only one thing we can base all of our assumptions on that will prove to hold fast in this life.
I assumed that lots of children would just be too much, yet I know that God's word says: "Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate" (Psalm 127:3-5).
I assume that Josiah will grow up to be a man of God and I will put my hope in my Father's promises: "Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it" (Proverbs 22:6).
My heart's desire is to train my heart and mind to lay aside all assumptions. They take time and energy that could be spent on filling my mind with truth and hope.
Trusting in the Father who is the giver of hope, who is in control, and who can do whatever He wills, regardless of our assumptions.